The big black box

Upstairs, in my room, tucked into a corner is the big black box. Any parent of an addict probably has something similar. Inside are the things that I can’t leave lying around, on a shelf or in a cupboard. There’s a great big padlock on it and the key is with me always. In my robe pocket before I get dressed, in my pants pocket during the day, in my wallet when I go to work. The lock is almost impossible to jimmy and the box is really, really heavy. Because it’s made of steel. Even so, there have been times when I’ve lugged that big black box out to the car and taken it with me. To work or to run errands. Times when she is in heavy use and I’m not so sure that she just wouldn’t drag the darn thing out of the house and find some way to open it.

I used to keep this sort of stuff in a regular lock box. The kind of fire proof box where you keep your birth certificates and such. But a couple of years ago she figured out what was in there. And 80 of my son’s ritalin pills went missing. And so did the cash I had stashed in there. Try to explain that one to the pharmacist. I had to call and try to get the refill early, my son needed his medication. So I had my Dad build the steel box.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if my car was ever searched when I had that box in there. Not that it would be, but you know the thought has crossed my mind on occasion. Although all the medication is in labeled prescription bottles and they all belong to my family, still…What would the police think of such an odd collection of meds, a bottle of Bailey’s and vanilla extract? Lucky the listerine, body spray and hairspray aren’t in there anymore. They would make the whole thing odder still. I finally just emptied those and threw them out. I don’t keep them in the house anymore.

People don’t seem to understand the depths of my daughter’s alcohol addiction until I mention the fact that she drinks this stuff. When I tell them that she has drunk/drinks mouthwash, vanilla and other extracts, hairspray and body spray they can’t comprehend it. Why would anyone want to drink that stuff? they ask. Because she is an addict and there is alcohol in it. That’s why! I used to find empty bottles of all this stuff hidden between her mattresses or in her drawers. I used to sniff her breath looking for the telltale scent of listerine or floral body spray.

One day I took her and her younger sister to a movie. In the middle of it she left to go to the bathroom. Well, she didn’t come back and didn’t come back and I started to worry. Then my phone rang. She had crossed the parking lot and gone in to the drugstore and got caught shoplifting a bottle of mouthwash. I was so upset, angry and humiliated. At the time she was waiting for a rehab bed. It didn’t come fast enough.

Mind you since she turned 19, this sort of thing isn’t really an issue anymore. Once she hit the legal drinking age she could get the real stuff and only had to turn to the other in times of dire need. Aka: she was broke.

Anyway, the big black box sits the on the floor in a corner of my room. And I resent it. I resent the fact that I have to resort to locking everything up. JUST IN CASE. I’ve got to say though, sometimes I think about how nice it would be to lock myself up in that box…maybe then I’d get some peace.

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4 Responses to The big black box

  1. Lisa says:

    My son came home for a visit this last Saturday (he is 6 1/2 months clean) to see family. He was hoping to see his grandma, but she passed away the day before he arrived. I locked everything up, I carried my purse with me everywhere so that it was always in my line of sight in the house and checked my cash multiple times. We had no problems, he is doing well; and I’m not even sure he was aware of the steps I was taking. I have no idea how long it will be before I feel like I don’t have to do those things any more…maybe never.

  2. DAWN M MCCOY says:

    yah. oh yeah!!

    11 years I have been dealing with this crap. my daughter is a heroin addict, iv drug user. my husband is a diabetic.

    sleep with purse. and all the rest.

    it’s over for now, i haven’t allowed her in the house except for four hours once a week to visit her two children that I took away from her.. I don’t leave the room. I play with the other child she has who just turned 3.

    i will never trust her ever. never. ever. last time i relented she stole 120 from her 4 year old daughter’s piggy bank. which was hidden under my bathroom sink with the cleaning supplies.

    yah. we all have that black box or a reasonable facsimile thereof LOL.

    dawn

  3. peglud says:

    Yes, Carolyn – I understand this. I have a modified, yet similar system. I carry my good jewelry with me at all times. And, I always take my computer with me when I leave town. I’ve been afraid that Hayley and/or her friends will rob my house. And even though she’s in treatment now, I still worry about that. Basically, I don’t want Hayley in my house because when she is here, I’m a virtual prisoner. I have to watch her like a hawk, can’t even go outside to work in my garden. Even though I said I wanted her to stay with me the night before we left for treatment, I was relieved when she said no, she’d stay at the crack house instead. That is so pitiful, I think. Will I ever be able to trust her? Probably not. Peggy

  4. HerBigSad says:

    We bought a safe, and it sits right next to my left knee as I work, every day. In it are all the important papers like her passport, the girls’ birth certificates, a small amount of emergency cash, jewelry (I only have a diamond engagement ring, but I don’t wear it unless going out), etc. I finally stopped hiding the vanilla. And I bought a bottle of wine to cook with last week and it looks so odd in my fridge. What broke my heart was when my husband installed a lock on her sister’s door, and bought her a safe too. When she is actively using, I wear Sister’s door key around my neck so I can get in if I need to. When she’s home, all banking papers are immediately filed in Dad’s closet and his/our keys are always in our pockets or under our pillows.

    Yes, we all do this.

    And none of our friends with “normie” kids can understand it!

    I am praying you have a restful night of deep, refreshing sleep. God bless!

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